A new desire to bind the Chickasaws and other Native Americans to the U.S. through treaties and commerce

By the time Thomas Jefferson was elected, the third U.S. President, his Indian policy reflected his new desire to bind the Chickasaws and other Native Americans to the U.S. through treaties and commerce. His administration hoped to get Native Americans to adopt European agricultural practices, shift to permanent settlements, adopt a more sedentary way of life and continue to assimilate into American society. This would free up tribal hunting grounds for further white settlement. The rationale for all of these goals was to “civilize” the Native Americans. His administration set up trading posts to aid this assimilation by offering American goods and convenience items on credit. What was Jefferson’s motive? To lure Native Americans into heavy debt, creating obligations that could only be paid off by selling their greatest asset, the tribal lands.